Tag: epa

Northern Dynasty, State of Alaska, Seek to Vacate EPA Veto on Pebble
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Northern Dynasty, State of Alaska, Seek to Vacate EPA Veto on Pebble

Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy is continuing the state’s legal pursuit for the permitting of the proposed Pebble mine by asking the U.S. District Court in Alaska to find the Environmental Protection Agency’s order on state land in Bristol Bay unlawful. A complaint filed April 11 argues that the state is protecting its interests as the landowner from unlawful federal actions, including being dispossessed of its right to manage its own property. The Pebble prospect abuts the Bristol Bay watershed, home of the world’s largest run of wild sockeye salmon. The fishery annually provides thousands of jobs and contributes millions of dollars to the state’s economy. Opponents of the mine contend that the potential adverse environmental impact of the mine would prove a disaster for the fisher...
EPA Invests in Improving Columbia River Basin Environment
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EPA Invests in Improving Columbia River Basin Environment

Nearly $32 million in federal funds is being invested across seven Oregon projects and programs, with a goal of reducing toxics in fish and water and addressing climate change issues to help restore the health of the Columbia River Basin. The money comes from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law’s $79 million total funding infusion into the Columbia River Basin Restoration Program. The program is proving essential to the Pacific Northwest’s Tribes, communities and economy, all of which rely on the watershed, according to Oregon Sens. Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden, who announced the new funds Nov. 16. “Our rivers and waterways are the lifeblood of our communities. If they are dirty and polluted, our homes, schools and businesses are dirty and polluted,” Merkley stated. “The federal inve...
Bristol Bay Entities Challenge State of Alaska Pebble Mine Lawsuit
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Bristol Bay Entities Challenge State of Alaska Pebble Mine Lawsuit

Two Bristol Bay region entities have filed an amicus brief with the U.S. Supreme Court to counter Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy’s lawsuit against the Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Water Act veto of the proposed Pebble mine in Southwest Alaska. “EPA finalized Clean Water Act protections in Bristol Bay with the strong support of the people of our region and across Alaska,” said Russell Nelson, board chair of the Bristol Bay Native Corp. (BBNC), which has offices in Dillingham and Anchorage. The EPA’s work in Bristol Bay, Nelson said, “is grounded in solid science and an important regulatory obligation to protect the invaluable salmon resource that has sustained our people since time immemorial.” He also said in a Nov. 9 statement issued by BBNC and United Tribes of Bristol...
EPA Takes Step to Protect Salmon from Tire Chemicals
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EPA Takes Step to Protect Salmon from Tire Chemicals

Environmental Protection Agency officials have announced an intention to publish an advanced notice of rulemaking under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) to gather information that could be used to ban use of a chemical used in tires and found to be lethal to coho salmon. The decision, announced on Nov. 2 by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), was in conjunction with the EPA’s decision to grant a petition submitted in August by the Yurok Tribe in California and the Port Gamble S’Klallam Tribe, and the Puyallup Tribe of Indians, both of Washington state. The petition asked the EPA to consider establishing regulations prohibiting the manufacturing, processing, use and distribution of the chemical N-(1,3-Dimethylbutyl)-N’-phenyl-p-phenylenediamine (6PPD) in tires. ...
American Seafoods Fined for Clean Water Act Violations
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American Seafoods Fined for Clean Water Act Violations

American Seafoods Co. and owners of its fish-processing vessels have been fined nearly $1 million by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for multiple violations of the Clean Water Act. On Sept. 28, the companies were cited by the EPA for hundreds of violations, including discharging waste in the protected Heceta/Stonewall Banks complex along the Oregon coast, failure to monitor its discharges and missing or inaccurate information in required annual reports. Ed Kowalski, director of EPA’s Enforcement and Compliance Assurance Division in Seattle, said that in amassing hundreds of violations from illegal discharges to sloppy and even non-existent record-keeping that American Seafoods had demonstrated a clear disregard for the fragile and valuable resources that sustain it...
EPA Issues Final Rule Regarding Chemical Dispersant Use During Oil Spills
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EPA Issues Final Rule Regarding Chemical Dispersant Use During Oil Spills

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has finalized tougher standards for chemical dispersants used in oil spill response in federal waters and adjoining shorelines, giving considerable authority to regional and area planners on whether such toxic chemicals may be used. The rule amending requirements of the National Oil and Hazardous Substances Pollution Contingency Plan, as published in the Federal Register on June 12, governs use of dispersants, other chemicals and other spill mitigating substances when responding to oil discharges into jurisdictional federal waters. The EPA’s action came on the heels of a 2020 lawsuit filed by several environmental entities, including Earth Island Institute, Alaska Community Action on Toxics, the Center for Biological Diversity and others, over c...
EPA Final Determination Protects Bristol Bay Salmon Fisheries
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EPA Final Determination Protects Bristol Bay Salmon Fisheries

A final determination on plans for a proposed mine adjacent to the Bristol Bay watershed in Southwest Alaska released Jan. 31 by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) favors protections for the huge run of wild sockeye salmon and a multi-million-dollar fisheries economy. The EPA said its determination would protect waters important to sustaining the area’s salmon resources from disposal of dredged or fill materials associated with developing the copper, gold and molybdenum Pebble deposit that a Canadian mining firm wants to develop. The battle between development to extract these minerals from the deposit abutting the Bristol Bay watershed has been ongoing for two decades. EPA Administrator Michael Regan said the Bristol Bay watershed is a vital economic driver providing jobs, sus...
EPA Revises Definition of ‘Waters of the United States’
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EPA Revises Definition of ‘Waters of the United States’

Officials with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Department of the Army have announced establishment of a final rule on the definition of “waters of the United States (WOTUS).” The final rule restores essential water protections that were in place prior to 2015 under the Clean Water Act for traditional navigable waters, territorial seas and interstate waters, as well as upstream water resources that significantly impact those waters. The EPA said this action would strengthen fundamental protections for waters that are sources of drinking water, and also support agriculture, local economies and downstream communities. The EPA also stated that this final rule restores fundamental protections so that the national will be closer to achieving Congress’ goal in the Clea...
Pebble Mine Decision: Litigation Likely to Follow Final Determination
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Pebble Mine Decision: Litigation Likely to Follow Final Determination

A final determination on the future of a proposed copper, gold and molybdenum mine in Alaska’s Bristol Bay watershed could be handed down in February by the Environmental Protection Agency, but more litigation and possible deadline extensions could follow.  Still, the announcement in early December by Casey Sixkiller, Regional 10 administrator for the EPA, that he had transmitted to the agency’s headquarters a Recommended Determination to prohibit and restrict use of certain waters in the watershed for certain discharges of dredged or fill materials from the mine got plenty of attention. Advocates for the Canadian-owned mine, a subsidiary of the diversified global mining group Hunter Dickenson in Vancouver, British Columbia, cried foul while opponents of the project hailed the possibil...
EPA Extends Its Period of Consideration for Proposed Pebble Mine
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EPA Extends Its Period of Consideration for Proposed Pebble Mine

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has extended its consideration period for proposed restrictions on mining at the proposed Pebble mine site in Southwest Alaska, this time until Dec. 2. The comment period was originally set to end in July, then continued to early September. While the comment period is now closed, the EPA is giving itself additional time to consider its decision. The crux of the issue is the potential adverse impact of the mine on the Bristol Bay watershed, home of the world’s largest run of sockeye salmon. The 2022 season was a record breaker for the millions of salmon caught in Bristol Bay, providing thousands of jobs to workers and millions of dollars to the industry and economy of Alaska. The EPA is currently faced with whether to withdraw proposed r...